Insight

Beethoven and the Accademia di Santa Cecilia

Beethoven and the Accademia di Santa Cecilia

Beethoven never became an honorary member of the Congregation and Academy of St. Cecilia for reasons of age: as a matter of fact, he died in 1827, three years before the election of Luigi Rossi as Secretary of the Congregation, the person who would promote the renewal of the Cecilian association, and its transformation into a modern Academy of European significance, welcoming in its ranks since 1838, the most distinguished composers and foreign artists. But it is worth remembering a posthumous tribute that the Cecilians wanted to pay to the great German composer.

On 12 August 1845, representatives of major European musical institutions gathered in Bonn for the inauguration of a monument to Beethoven, on the 15th anniversary of his death. For the occasion, the Academy entrusted composer Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, who had been elected an honorary member on 23 March 1842, with the task to represent it. In his letter dated 23 July 1845 Mendelssohn said to be extremely honoured and proud of the assigned task, which however he could not take up because of prior engagements in other cities in Germany, but he would endeavour to submit to the Celebration Committee the Academy's letter, so that it would be read publicly. So it was, and a few months later Karl Heinrich Breidenstein sent to the Academy an inscribed copy of the celebratory brochure edited by himself in 1846, and from which the reproduction of the monument is drawn.

 

Documents from the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia

Photogallery

 

By musicologist Giovanni Bietti

Watch the listening guide for the concert of November 2 (in Italian)

Concert of 2 November

Browse the libretto

Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and TIM present PappanoinWeb